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Wave Processes

Essential parts of the middle atmosphere circulation are driven by waves – the investigation of related processes is matter of this topic. Prominent examples are planetary and synoptic Rossby waves and mesoscale inertia-gravity waves. We study their life cycle from their generation through their propagation until they break and influence the mean flow. Thermal tides are a closely related subject.


In order to extract information from observations and analyses and model simulations, distributions of Ertels Potential Vorticity, the three-dimensional wave activity flux, lag-correlations and several methods for the diagnosis of Rossby wave trains are used. For the study of gravity waves analytical models are continuously developed further. Numerical simulations are utilizing a variety of mesoscale and global models (for example KMCM or UA-ICON) and linearized versions thereof (LIN-KMCM). For selected case studies, IAP-based observations with radiosondes, radars and lidars are used and compared with numerical simlations.

Recent publications

  • Amiramjadi, M., R. Plougonven, A. R. Mohebalhojeh & M. Mirzaei, 2023: Using machine learning to estimate non-orographic gravity wave characteristics at source levels. J. Atmos. Sci. 80,  2: 419-440, doi:10.1175/jas-d-22-0021.1.
  • Geldenhuys, M., P. Preusse, I. Krisch, C. Zülicke, J. Ungermann, M. Ern, F. Friedl-Vallon & M. Riese, 2021: Orographically-Induced Spontaneous Imbalance within the Jet Causing a Large Scale Gravity Wave Event. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 21: 10393-10412, doi:10.5194/acp-21-10393-2021.
  • Ghosh, P., T. Renkwitz, R. Latteck, V. Avsarkisov & J. L. Chau, 2023: Momentum Flux and Vertical Wind Power Spectral Characteristics in the Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere Over Andøya, Norway as Observed by MAARSY. Geophys. Res. Lett. 50,  8, doi:10.1029/2022gl101524.


  • Dieter H.W. Peters
  • Claudia Stephan
  • Christoph Zülicke